Common Types of Squirrels
Despite all squirrels looking the same as the next, there are divided into three groups: large tree squirrels, pine squirrels, and flying squirrels. The larger tree squirrel group is further divided in four groups: fox, eastern gray, western gray and tassel-eared squirrels. The most common squirrels in the Pacific Northwest are eastern and western grey, red and pine, and northern and southern flying squirrels; these breeds populate densely forested areas. Gray and fox squirrels are capable of breeding at about 1 year of age, and will breed by early January, and again in June. During these times is when you’ll see the males noisily chasing females like teenagers!
Nesting Habits of Squirrels
Squirrels nest in little dens, like tree cavities and leaf nests (structures made of sticks and dry leaves). Their home range ranges from 1 to 100 acres, depending on food availability. That’s a lot of steps! During the fall, squirrels may travel up to 50 miles for a better habitat, all without the luxury of a U-Haul. Their diet consists of nuts and seeds, but they’re not above eating insects in order to survive.
Mating Habits of Squirrels
A squirrel’s gestation is about 3 to 6 weeks, and they will have about 3 young per litter. These babies are capable of venturing out of their after they wean at 10 to 12 weeks. While the majority of squirrels die within the first year of their lives, the rest can live to around 5-10 years old in the wild, and up to 20 in captivity.
How to tell if I Have a Squirrel Infestation
Because they look so cute it’s easy to forget that they’re in the same animal group as rats, but squirrels are very capable of similar damage. They like taking up residency in attics and crawlspaces, and are capable of chewing up electrical wires and walls. As an added bonus, squirrels can also destroy your garden and eat any vegetation. The best way to identify squirrel infestations is by hearing them in the walls or attic. If you hear sounds of scurrying during the day, coupled with chewed up entry holes, then it’s likely to be a squirrel infestation. While rats do have similar tell-tale signs, they’re nocturnal creatures, so you’ll hear rats during nightfall and night time.